Dry eye affects people who lack moisture in the form of tears, which lubricate and nourish the eye. Dry eye syndrome is an insufficient production of tears or disturbances in the composition of individual layers of the tear film – for example, it may be poor quality tears. Tears are essential for the maintenance of the front surface of the eyeball in good condition and for clear vision. Dry eyes are a common problem, especially among the elderly. When it comes to dry eye, home remedies can be of great help.
With each blink of the eyelid, the tears spread over the front surface of the eye, specifically the cornea. Tears moisturize, reduce the risk of eye infections, wash foreign bodies from the eye, and keep the eye surface smooth and clean. Dry eye syndrome occurs when tear production and drainage are out of balance.
The tears are produced by several glands in and around the eyelids. Tear production tends to decrease with age, with various medical conditions, or as a side effect of certain medications. Environmental conditions such as wind and dry climate can also reduce tear production. It is when the standard amount of tear production is reduced or when tears evaporate too quickly from the eyes that dry eye symptoms can develop.
Dry eye home remedies – eye problems
The tear fluid washes the outermost part of the eyeball and then flows through the tear ducts into the lacrimal sac and then into the nasolacrimal canal. The cord connects the eye with the nasal cavity, so when we cry, we wipe not only our eyes but also our nose.
A tear has three layers: oil, water, and mucus. Each ingredient protects and nourishes the front surface of the eye. The smooth layer of oil is the outermost part, it helps to reduce the evaporation of the water layer, it is produced by the thyroid glands. It also acts as a lubricant, reducing the friction between the eyelid and the cornea. On the other hand, the mucous part, i.e. the part closest to the eye, is produced by goblet cells. It is thanks to her that the tear film sticks to the surface of the eyeball. The watery part is produced by the lacrimal gland, and this layer also contains antibacterial substances that protect the eye from infections.
If your tears evaporate too quickly or don’t spread evenly across the cornea because any of the three tear layers are deficient, you may develop dry eye symptoms.
Keratoconjunctivitis is also referred to as dry eye syndrome.
The feeling of dry eyes is unpleasant, there is irritation, roughness and burning of the eyes all the time; foreign body sensation in the eyes and blurred vision. Advanced stages can even damage the front surface of the eye and severely impair vision.
Dry eye syndrome can develop for many reasons, such as age, and most people over the age of 65 have dry eye symptoms. Gender is also important here, the disease affects women more often due to hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, the use of oral contraceptives or menopause. Certain medications, including antihistamines, decongestants, drugs to lower blood pressure, and antidepressants, can reduce tear production. People with rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid problems are more likely to have dry eye symptoms. Exposure to smoke, wind, and dry climates also increase the evaporation of tears, causing dry eye symptoms. Not blinking regularly, such as when you stare at a computer screen for long periods, can also contribute to dry eyes.
Treatments used to reduce eye dryness are designed to restore or maintain a normal amount of tears in the eye. Home remedies for dry eye help minimize dryness and the associated discomfort.
Dry eyes home remedies, examples
Home treatments for dry eyes include the instillation of artificial tears into the eyes, using over-the-counter solutions of artificial tears. Homemade and natural remedies also treat inflammation of the eyelids, which also contributes to eye dryness. Artificial tears can be used as often as necessary. It is best to buy a solution without preservatives and additives, as they may additionally irritate the eyes. Such a product will have a shorter expiry date after opening.
Another way is to increase tear production as well. Your optometrist can prescribe eye drops to increase tear production. It may also be helpful to take a dietary supplement with omega-3 fatty acids, it is also worth enriching the daily diet with products rich in these fatty acids.
Also, try to apply compresses on the eyelids regularly, you can also do a gentle massage around the eyes. For eye compresses, use infusions of firefly, fennel and chamomile.
Another very good way to treat dry eyes is to moisturize them with black tea compresses, which are known for their oxidizing properties. Chilled but still warm tea should be applied to closed eyelids. We can use tea bags, then we can simply put them on the eyelids, and if we use tea with leaves, just soak a handkerchief or gauze in it. For best results, leave them on for about 20 minutes.
Another noteworthy way to reduce dry eye discomfort is a cucumber mask. Fresh cucumber slices placed over closed eyes will moisturize them and have anti-inflammatory properties. We can use this method even twice a day.
Dry eye treatment home remedies
In the daily care of dry eyes, it is also very important to remember to blink regularly when reading or working in front of the computer. Thanks to this, we naturally moisturize the surface of the eye.
Another important point is to moisturize the environment you are in. Especially in winter, when the heaters are almost constantly on, the air is dry and the water from your eyes evaporates very quickly. Take care of adequate air humidity at work and at home. You can put a large number of houseplants that not only moisturize the air, but also purify it. If that is not enough, it is worth investing in an air humidifier. There is a wide selection of humidifiers on the market and some not only take care of indoor air quality but also have a designer look.
Also, try to wear sunglasses that will protect your eyes from wind and sun. Unnecessary exposure to these factors will further dry your lens, even if you follow all the important points in the care of dry eye.
Additionally, avoid excessive dehydration during the day and try to drink regular amounts of water.
Home remedies for dry eye – how to combat dryness?
When combating dryness with home remedies, remember to use appropriate products that do not contain preservatives. You can make warm eye compresses not only with herbal infusions, but also with the use of delicate washing liquids for children. These compresses will release the oil from the lacrimal glands, which will improve the quality of your tears.
Another option are gels, the thick texture of which will deeply moisturize the eye area, but you should use them only before going to bed, because gels tend to blur your vision.
Diet is another important factor in the fight against dry eye syndrome. It is not only about enriching your diet with healthy fatty acids, but also about giving up sugar or at least limiting it in your diet. The same goes for other artificial sweeteners.
If dry eye is caused by medication, your doctor may prescribe an alternative medicine that will not dry your eyes.
In addition to natural methods, it is also possible to get rid of the discomfort with a simple surgical method that leads to permanent sealing of the “drainage holes” of the eye. These are small openings at the corner of the eyelids where tears run from the eye to the nose. With this surgical method, the drainage holes close and the tears remain on the surface of the eye for a long time. However, the drainage holes can also be temporarily closed with plugs made of silicon or collagen – the plugs are inserted into the drainage holes by a specialist doctor.
Dry eye home treatment, advice
Home treatments for dry eye include proper hygiene and care. It is also worth warming up and gently massaging the eyelids every day, which will allow the secretion in the Meibomian glands to be liquefied and removed.
Dry eye conditions usually last for the rest of your life and there is no way to cure them completely. Of course, there are exceptions, such as secondary stages of the disease, caused by the use of certain medications, in which case stopping them results in the disappearance of dry eye symptoms.
Dry eye syndrome should not be taken lightly, it is a dangerous condition in which tears are insufficiently produced or when tears do not contain the necessary ingredients to protect and moisturize the surface of the eye. Untreated Dry Eye Syndrome can lead to even more problems with your eyesight. Fortunately, there are many natural methods worth using at home to cure this condition. The most important thing is also, especially in the case of everyday makeup, to thoroughly wash off the make-up at the end of the day, as the remnants of poorly washed cosmetics clog the glands and lead to dry eye syndrome.
Also, remember to avoid direct contact with the airflow directed at your eyes, such as the airflow from your car heater or hair dryer.
Do not stay in a place with a lot of smoke, as the smoke aggravates the symptoms of dry eye even more.
When working in front of a computer, remember to properly position the screen, which should be at eye level. Also remember about breaks during work that requires constant visual concentration. You can close your eyes and then blink for a while, this will make the tear film spread over the entire eyeball.